AUSTRIAN BERND WIESBERGER rocketed into the lead at the Ballantine’s Championship in Incheon with a superb round of 65 on Friday.
Wiesberger leads by one stroke at seven-under overall thanks to his brilliant second-round effort at the Blackstone Golf Club in South Korea, which saw him shoot seven birdies in a bogey-free round.
Australian Marcus Fraser is hot on his heels at six under for the European Tour event, with Sweden’s Oscar Floren two shots adrift in outright third. Wiesberger began his round with a birdie on the second and he added two more on holes five and six.
The 26-year-old ended the front nine with another birdie and sunk three more at 13, 15 and 18 in a magnificent performance. Fraser also hit seven birdies, but he added two bogeys to finish with a five-under-par 67.
The Australian finished with three birdies from the final four holes to give him good momentum heading into the weekend’s action. Floren also shot a 67, producing a finish that was even better than Fraser’s.
The Swede birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th before producing an eagle on the par-five 18th to reach five under for the competition. Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, Englishman Anthony Wall and Chilean Felipe Aguilar are all tied for fourth at four under.
Wall was the best performed of that trio, firing six birdies in his five-under 67. In a tie for seventh are English duo Graeme Storm and Oliver Fisher, Sweden’s Alexander Noren and South Korean Ji-ho Jung. Noren’s six-under 66 – which included five birdies from his last eight holes – was particularly impressive.
Englishman Ian Poulter is one of eight golfers in a tie for 11th at two-under, while pre-tournament favourite Adam Scott holds a share of 57th after carding a three-over 76. Scott only survived the cut by two strokes and will find it tough to challenge from his position at the half-way mark.